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Title: The Circulation of the Insane: The Pauper Lunatic Experience of the Garlands Asylum, 1862-1913
Authors: Dobbing, Cara Christine
Supervisors: King, Steven
Award date: 26-Apr-2019
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Within the vast array of literature concerning the county lunatic asylums of the late nineteenth-century, historians have tended to focus on the larger, urban asylums. This thesis presents the experience of pauper lunatic patients at the previously un-researched Garlands Asylum. Using the large repository of records, the thesis focuses on the county institution constructed to jointly serve the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. Centring on the patient experience, detailed cross-referencing of records have made it possible to map the institutional lives of those who were admitted for treatment. Conducting the study in this way has made it clear that mental health provision in the late nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries was not a static experience. At the heart of the examination is an analysis of the circulatory nature of asylum care. Previous research has identified that there was a network of institutional responses to mental illness in this era. Using core themes identified in the historiography, this thesis has addressed four gaps in the literature. First, a geographical imbalance exists as no English lunatic institutions of the far North have been the focus of detailed scholarly attention. Second - the overarching theme of the thesis – the treatment of pauper lunatics has been presented as a static one. Third, as a result of relying upon patient records for this examination, a greater understanding of the pauper experience will be gained, as at present, mainly due to the scarcity of records, this remains thin. Finally, the experience of marginal groups in the asylum, in terms of increased levels of transfer, is lacking. Addressing these four gaps will extend the historiography, and will provide a more comprehensive understanding of mental health provision for pauper lunatics in the period of study.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, Dept. of Sociology

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